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Manukau mayor expresses sorrow at canyoning deaths

Media Release - 16 April 2008

Manukau mayor expresses sorrow at river canyoning deaths

Manukau mayor Len Brown is deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic deaths of six Elim Christian College students and a teacher while river canyoning in the central North Island yesterday.

“This is a terrible loss for the families concerned, the school, the Howick community and, indeed, all of Manukau city and New Zealand.

“As a parent of school-aged children, my heart goes out to the families of those who died and to all at Elim Christian College.

“I know our community, council and government agencies will rally around and give every support possible.

“But I realise nothing can replace the precious young people and their teacher who have been taken from us.

“Our community has been terribly wounded and I know the days ahead will be testing.

“On behalf of our council and all our citizens, I express my deepest condolences and sympathy.

Mr Brown, councillor Anne Candy, kaumatua Haare Williams and Eru Thompson attended a special assembly at Elim Christian College on Wednesday morning after the mayor contacted the school and principal Murray Burton issued an invitation.

“I wanted to let everyone at the school know that our community and city care for them at this time and that we are there for them,” says Mr Brown.

“I was deeply impressed at the courage and fortitude shown by Mr Burton and the school staff in the face of such dreadful circumstances.

“Their support for students and families moved me immensely.

“The support shown by the students for each other was also particularly poignant.”


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